Writing as free psychoanalysis

This one is from novelist Zibby O’Neal:

Few things are more interesting than revising. Having seen what you said, you begin to discover what you meant. It’s like psychoanalysis–except it’s free.

There are days I barely understand myself. I feel like I’m floating through my life in a haze. And then I start reading my writing, and a whole slew of things I didn’t think were on my mind are right there on the page in black and white. Sometimes it’s embarrassing. Will my beta readers find me out? What will my mother think? I fear that I have no secrets sometimes. Though, I have to admit, there’s a little bit of a thrill in that fear too… that everyone will find out what I’m really thinking… and that they’ll like it.

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7 thoughts on “Writing as free psychoanalysis

  1. Catherine Stine says:

    I definitely learn about myself through writing, and by doing art. I painted a giant cardinal once, and people responded to it so differently. One guy said it seemed to be following him with its eyes, another person said it was like a red god. So, you learn about other people, too, from their responses to your work.

  2. Call_Me_Bookish says:

    Reading back what you’ve written really is a strange experience, especially if you’ve let it sit for a long while. I either love what I’ve written (and secretly believe that I am a genius) or I HATE it!

    “Though, I have to admit, there’s a little bit of a thrill in that fear too… that everyone will find out what I’m really thinking… and that they’ll like it.”

    1) I totally get that.
    2) I think that we’ll all like what you’re thinking! 🙂

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